Hey everyone, the OU tiering council has decided to test Species Clause!
Species Clause dictates that a player cannot have two of the same species of Pokemon on their team, based on National Pokedex number. This has been a standard clause in Smogon's formats for its entire history. From generation to generation, this clause has remained an integral part of the tier and this has remained mostly unquestioned. However, this changed when internal discussion among council members sparked a debate. We don't have concrete proof that stacking multiple of the same Pokemon on a team is unbalanced or uncompetitive. Therefore, it is only logical to put it to the test in practice. In short, we have decided to conduct this suspect test to determine whether or not Species Clause is truly necessary for the health of the tier.
In theory, Species Clause restricts teambuilding. Disabling Species Clause has the potential to introduce a lot of new strategies. Multiple of the same Pokemon on one team can make it so that they can help eachother in overwhelming their checks. For example, one Swords Dance Kingambit can weaken opposing Great Tusk for the other. Differing sets can also bring another layer of strategy. You could bring one Dragapult with a Choice Specs set and one Dragapult with a Dragon Dance set and they could lure in and beat eachother's checks.
While this opens up offensive strategies as such, multiple of the same Pokemon can also have merit defensively. For example, it can be hard to use an offensive Great Tusk set if you are in dire need of the bulk for handling the many threats it needs to check, like Kingambit and Roaring Moon. Without Species Clause, you could bring an offensive Great Tusk set alongside a bulky one to solve this problem. Another possible scenario is a case where you are weak to a certain threat because you only have a soft check to handle it. Being able to stack two of these makes it so you can turn a soft check into a hard check.
Stacking up on multiple of the same Pokemon isn't limited to offensive ones. Debating whether you should make that Toxapex or that Skeledirge physically or specially defensive is a familiar situation to many. Without Species Clause, one can bring both versions and solve this problem.
While breaking Species Clause may sound overwhelmingly strong, you should consider the fact that by stacking multiple of the same Pokemon, you don't just stack their strengths, but also their weaknesses. For example, bringing multiple Breloom sounds like a good idea until you get walled by a single Amoonguss. Bringing multiple Gholdengo seems very appealing until you get swept by a single Tera Water Garganacl. Bringing multiple Dragapult looks enticing until the opposing (army of) Iron Valiant cleans your team.
Disabling Species Clause also means you can have alternate forms or regional variants of the same Pokemon on the same team. For example, certain teams could benefit from having both Rotom-Wash and Rotom-Heat, while others might look to bring both Tauros-Paldea-Fire and Tauros-Paldea-Water.
I could keep theorycrafting like this for hours, but the truth is that the only way to truly understand the impact of Species Clause on the tier is to try it in practice. That is why we have decided to start this suspect test. Does it open up too many cheesy strategies or does it bring a healthy dose of innovation? You decide.
- This suspect test will be held on a separate suspect ladder. It will read as [Gen 9] OU (suspect). The current ladder, [Gen 9] OU, will remain as is until further notice. The reason for this is that the status quo, Species Clause enabled, remains the official state of the tier for the duration of this suspect test and this needs to be reflected in an active ladder. Consider the suspect ladder a testing ground to decide what to vote at the end of the suspect test.
- The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 80 with at least 50 games played. In addition, you may play 1 less game for every 0.2 GXE you have above 80 GXE, down to a minimum of 30 games at a GXE of 84. Also, needing more than 50 games to reach 80 GXE will suffice. These requirements need to be reached on the suspect ladder, reaching them on the regular OU ladder does not grant voting rights.
- You must signup with a newly registered account on Pokemon Showdown! that begins with the appropriate prefix for the suspect test. For this suspect test, the prefix will be OUWU. For example, I might signup with the ladder account OUWU Ruft.
- Laddering with an account that impersonates, mocks, or insults another Smogon user or breaks Pokemon Showdown! rules may be disqualified from voting and infracted. Moderator discretion will be applied here. If there is any doubt or hesitance, just pick another name. There are infinite possibilities and we have had trouble for this repeatedly. If you wish to participate in the suspect, you should be able to exhibit decent enough judgement here. We will not be lenient.
- The suspect being tested, Species Clause, will be disabled on the suspect ladder but remain enabled on the regular ladder.
- Any form of voting manipulation will result in swift and severe punishment. You are more than welcome to state your argument to as many people as you so please, but do not use any kind of underhanded tactics to get a result you desire. Bribery, blackmail, or any other type of tactic used to sway votes will be handled and sanctioned.
- Do not attempt to cheat the ladder. We will know if you did not actually achieve voting requisites, so don't do it. Harsh sanctions will be applied.
- Your voting requisites will be confirmed by a Council member or OU moderator, to which we will edit in confirmation. Please avoid getting more games before getting confirmed.
- The suspect test will go on for roughly two weeks, lasting until April 15th at 11:59 pm (GMT-5), and then we will put up the voting thread in the Blind Voting subforum.
- No unhelpful one liners nor uninformed posts;
- No discussion on other potential suspects;
- No discussion on the suspect process -- this includes testing Species Clause vs other potential suspects;
- You are required to make respectful posts;
- You are required to read this thread before posting.
- Failure to follow these simple guidelines will result in your post being deleted and infracted without any prior warning.
- Please also take a moment to read over some suggestions from the OU Council and the OU Moderation team for posting in this thread; adhering these will help out our time moderating the thread and present your arguments better and more educated.
- You do not need a boatload of experience to have an informed opinion, but please try to minimize the theorymon aspect and use your experiences watching and playing. Playing some on the ladder before posting is plenty if you're concerned about this.
- Do not flame, belittle, or be disrespectful to users in this thread. While not everyone will read this post in its entirety nor will everyone have an informed opinion, please be sure not to be disrespectful. If there's an issue, bring it up to a moderator.
- Do not use the argument of broken checking broken. Should your argument rest on your opinion that banning the Pokemon or mechanic being tested in this suspect test will make a Pokemon or mechanic broken, overpowered, and/or uncompetitive; don't. If something needs to be banned because of the result this suspect, then so be it.
- This thread is not to voice complaints about the suspect process or decisions of the council. While we are more than open to hearing complaints that may arise, this isn't the place for it. I suggest you send me a private message.
Keep in mind that our suspect tests are decided by the community; anyone who rightfully achieves voting requisites is allowed to vote. The outcome is up to you.
Happy posting and laddering!